Intelligent Cable Data Service Architecture: Ensuring Competitive Parity With Optimized Capacity (1996)

By Terry L. Wright, Convergence Systems Incorporated (CSI)

Cable has a “once-in-an-era opportunity” to leap to the head of the class in Internet (and other information) services by optimizing and leveraging its bandwidth advantage in the delivery of data services. Cable’s challenge is to deliver competitively-priced yet “superior informational experiences’, to increasingly diverse customer communities, before Local Exchange Carriers (LECs) can realize returns on investments in more efiicient local loop technologies (e.g., ADSL) and HFC overbuilds. The key to this opportunity is the development of an integrated cable data services architecture. Such an architecture, when implemented, would optimally leverage existing network assets while maximizing return on HFC capital expenditures, creating a data service environment with the broadest of market segment appeal.

This paper explores key aspects of cables’ architectural challenge. It first explores the potential rewards associated with achieving an optimal data services architecture. It then examines a data services architecture designed to optimally leverage cables’ existing broadband assets, while maximizing return HFC investments. This architecture attempts to show how some latent (and generally un-used) HFC component features, might be combined with improved packaging (i.e., reduced form factor) of certain legacy LAN functions (expected in the very near term), to create a flexible data services infrastructure capable of supporting the broadest array of applications and related market segments.

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